|Publication number||US8201567 B2|
|Application number||US 11/665,847|
|Publication date||Jun 19, 2012|
|Filing date||Oct 27, 2005|
|Priority date||Oct 28, 2004|
|Also published as||US20090151756, WO2006046657A1|
|Publication number||11665847, 665847, PCT/2005/19815, PCT/JP/2005/019815, PCT/JP/2005/19815, PCT/JP/5/019815, PCT/JP/5/19815, PCT/JP2005/019815, PCT/JP2005/19815, PCT/JP2005019815, PCT/JP200519815, PCT/JP5/019815, PCT/JP5/19815, PCT/JP5019815, PCT/JP519815, US 8201567 B2, US 8201567B2, US-B2-8201567, US8201567 B2, US8201567B2|
|Original Assignee||Tokyo Electron Limited|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (15), Non-Patent Citations (2), Classifications (7), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates to a liquid treating apparatus for supplying treating liquid to a workpiece such as, for example, a semiconductor wafer, a glass substrate or a disk substrate and treating, for example cleaning or etching, the workpiece.
In general, a manufacturing process in semiconductor device manufacturing equipment involves a liquid treating method, which is widely used, wherein a workpiece such as a semiconductor wafer or a glass substrate for LCD is immersed in a treating vessel in which treating liquid such as liquid chemical or rinsing liquid is stored and the treating liquid is supplied to perform a treatment.
As a liquid treating apparatus for practicing such a liquid treating method there is known an apparatus wherein a workpiece is rotated by rotating means within treating liquid stored in a treating vessel and treating liquid, e.g., liquid chemical and rinsing liquid (pure water) are supplied successively from a treating liquid supply section to perform a treatment. In this liquid treating apparatus, the rotating means is constituted by two rollers which support the peripheral portion of the workpiece. The rollers are formed so as to receive a rotational driving force in a non-contact manner from a roller drive section and be rotatable in a non-contact manner with respect to the treating vessel (see, for example, JP-A-2002-100605).
However, particles may occur in the technique disclosed in JP-A-2002-100605, because the rollers are brought into contact with the peripheral portion of the workpiece, thereby causing rotation of the workpiece. Consequently, the problem arises that the generated particles adhere to the workpiece. Also stagnation of the treating liquid may occur between a rotary shaft and bearings in the roller drive section. Thus, there also exists the problem that the treating liquid is not supplied smoothly due to the stagnation of the treating liquid, resulting in uniformity of the treatment being impaired.
The present invention has been accomplished in view of the above-mentioned circumstances and it is an object of the invention to provide a liquid treating apparatus capable of making contact between a workpiece and treating liquid uniform, thereby improving the uniformity of liquid treatment, while preventing the generation of particles.
According to the present invention, for achieving the above-mentioned object, there is provided a liquid treating apparatus comprising:
holding means for holding a generally flat plate-like workpiece in a substantially vertical attitude;
a treating vessel for accommodating the workpiece held by the holding means;
a treating liquid supply system for supplying a treating liquid to the workpiece accommodated in the treating vessel; and
rotational drive means for rotating the holding means around a rotational axis passing approximately through the center of the workpiece in a state of non-contact with the treating vessel.
According to this liquid treating apparatus it is possible to suppress the generation of particles caused by rotation of the holding means. Consequently, the contact between the workpiece and the treating liquid can be made uniform in a state of a reduced amount of particles and the whole surface of the workpiece can be treated with the treating liquid uniformly.
Preferably, in this liquid treating apparatus, the holding means includes a driven shaft adapted to be rotationally driven by the rotational drive means, and the treating vessel includes an enclosure member which encloses the driven shaft of the holding means so as to form a gap between it and the driven shaft, the enclosure member having a liquid supply port for supplying the treating liquid into the gap.
With the treating liquid supply system, the treating liquid is supplied not only to the workpiece accommodated in the treating vessel but also into the gap from the liquid supply port, whereby it is possible to prevent stagnation of the treating liquid within the gap. Consequently, not only the deterioration of uniformity in the liquid treatment caused by stagnation of the treating liquid can be prevented, but also the treatment efficiency can be improved by promoting replacement of the treating liquid.
Preferably, the liquid supply port is positioned on the rotational axis, whereby it becomes easier for the treating liquid to flow uniformly around the driven shaft.
In this case, from the standpoint of smoothing the flow of the treating liquid so that the treating liquid can flow more uniformly, it is preferable that the driven shaft have a convex end opposed to the liquid supply port.
To ensure drying within the gap, it is preferable for the liquid treating apparatus to further comprise a gas supply system for supplying a drying gas into the gap through the liquid supply port.
In this case, it is preferable that the treating vessel includes a gas supply port through which the drying gas is supplied to the workpiece by the gas supply system.
Consequently, the workpiece thus treated with the treating liquid is dried with the drying gas as supplied from the gas supply port and at the same time it is possible to dry the interior of the gap.
Preferably, the treating liquid supply system is configured so that it can supply at least first and second treating liquids, and in the liquid treating apparatus, when the first treating liquid is supplied by the treating liquid supply system, the first treating liquid is supplied from the liquid supply port into the gap, while when the second treating liquid is supplied by the treating liquid supply system, the second treating liquid is supplied from the liquid supply port into the gap.
According to this configuration, when treatment with the first treating liquid and treatment with the second treating liquid are performed successively, it is possible to effect replacement from one treating liquid to the other quickly within the treating vessel so that the former treating liquid does not remain within the same vessel. Consequently, it is possible to improve the efficiency when performing such treatments in order.
From the standpoint of holding the workpiece easily and reliably it is preferable for the holding means to include at least a pair of holding members for holding an outer edge of the workpiece from outside in a radial direction with respect to the rotational axis and a moving mechanism for moving the holding members radially with respect to the rotational axis.
In this case, it is preferable for the holding means to further include a driven shaft adapted to be rotationally driven by the rotational drive means, an operating shaft disposed concentrically within the driven shaft and actuator means for rotating the operating shaft relatively with respect to the driven shaft, and the moving mechanism is operated by the relative rotation of the operating shaft.
By thus incorporating elements for operating the moving mechanism into the driven shaft it is possible to reduce the size of the liquid treating apparatus.
It is preferable for the treating vessel to include a vessel body, the vessel body having an enclosure wall and a closing wall, the enclosure wall enclosing the workpiece from outside in a radial direction with respect to the rotational axis and having openings on both end sides thereof in the rotational axis direction, and the closing wall closing one-end side of the enclosure wall, and a lid for opening and closing the other end-side opening of the enclosure wall in a fluid-tight manner.
According to this configuration, the treating vessel becomes a fluid-tight sealed vessel which is not likely to be badly influenced by the exterior atmosphere such as, for example, oxygen contained in air, an air current or temperature, during treatment. Consequently, it is possible to improve the treatment quality.
In this case, the holding means may be attached to the lid or may be attached to the vessel body.
Preferably, the holding means includes a driven shaft adapted to be rotationally driven by the rotational drive means, the treating vessel includes an enclosure member which encloses the driven shaft of the holding means, the rotational drive means is configured to hold the driven shaft in a state free of contact with the enclosure member under the action of an electromagnetic force, and the liquid treating apparatus further comprises movement inhibiting means for inhibiting a downward movement of the driven shaft of the holding means with respect to the enclosure member in a state in which the electromagnetic force does not act.
By thus utilizing the electromagnetic force the holder means can be made rotatable easily in a state of non-contact with the treating vessel. Even in a state in which the electromagnetic force does not act due to for example a power failure, a downward movement of the driven shaft can be prevented by the movement inhibiting means. As a result, it is possible to prevent the holding means and the treating vessel from being damaged by a shock or the like exerted thereon and hence possible to improve the reliability of the apparatus.
Embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail hereinunder with reference to the accompanying drawings.
First, a description will be given about a liquid treating apparatus according to a first embodiment of the present invention and a treatment system provided with the liquid treating apparatus.
As shown in
Each carrier C holds for example twenty-five wafers W horizontally at predetermined spacings, for example, at spacings of 10 mm. In the pitch changing/conveying section 3 there are disposed two wafer holders 2 a and 2 b which hold the wafers W at predetermined spacings, for example, at spacings of 3 mm, and which have a pitch changing function. The wafer conveying section 5 is provided between the loading/unloading section 1 and the pitch changing/conveying section 3. In the wafer conveying section 5 there is provided a conveyance arm 4 for the transfer of wafers W between the carriers C and the wafer holders 2 a, 2 b, the conveyance arm 4 being movable in X and Y directions orthogonal to each other within a horizontal plane and also in vertical Z direction and rotatable (in θ direction) within the horizontal plane.
The liquid treating apparatus 6 includes a vessel body 12 which forms a sealed treating vessel 10 together with a lid 11 (in
In other words, the liquid treating apparatus 6 includes the holding device 30 for holding the wafers W in a substantially vertical attitude and the treating vessel 10 for accommodating the wafers W held by the holding device 30. The liquid treating apparatus 6 further includes a treating liquid supply system 40 (
As shown in
As shown in
As shown in
According to the holding device 30 thus constructed, the wafer holder 2 a or 2 b (
The rotational drive device 20 includes ring-like electromagnets for floating which are embedded in the enclosure member 23 spacedly in the axial direction. On the other hand, a permanent magnet 25 is embedded in the driven shaft 21. The enclosure member 23 and the driven shaft 21 are both formed of a material having high resistance to chemicals and to corrosion, e.g., a synthetic resin such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).
In the rotational drive device 20 thus constructed, the driven shaft 21 can be rotated in a non-contact state with the gap 22 present between the driven shaft 21 and the enclosure member 23 by causing an appropriate electric current to flow to the electromagnets 24 for floating. Thus, the holding device 30 can be rotated around the rotational axis passing approximately through the center of the wafers W in a state of non-contact with the treating vessel 10. Consequently, it is possible to suppress the generation of particles caused by rotation of the holding device 30. A positioning electromagnet 26 is embedded between the floating electromagnets 24 in the enclosure member 23. By the supply of electric power to the positioning electromagnet 26, the driven shaft 21 can be positioined in the axial direction of the driven shaft 21. In accordance with a control signal provided from a controller (not shown) the rotational drive device 20 controls both current and voltage to be supplied to the electromagnets 24, whereby the rotational direction and the number of revolutions (e.g., 1 to 60 rpm) of the driven shaft 21 can be controlled.
Grip cylinders 27 are attached to the enclosure member 23 axially spacedly, the grip cylinders 27 being movement inhibiting devices for inhibiting a downward movement of the driven shaft 21 in a state in which no electromagnetic force acts on the floating electromagnets 24. The grip cylinders 27 have respective piston rods 27 a adapted to extend and support the driven shaft 21 when the supply of electric power to the floating electromagnets 24 is stopped and cut off by a power failure or the like.
A liquid supply port 28 for the supply of treating liquid (liquid chemical or pure water) into the gap 22 is formed on a front end side of the enclosure member 23. whereby it is possible to prevent stagnation of the treating liquid within the gap 22 during treatment of the wafers W with the treating liquid. The liquid supply port 28 is disposed on the rotational axis and the driven shaft 21 has a convex-shaped front end portion opposed to the liquid supply port 28. Consequently, it is possible to smooth the flow of treating liquid supplied from the liquid supply port 28 and make the treating liquid easy to flow uniformly around the driven shaft 21. Not only a treating liquid supply pipe 70A for the supply of treating liquid such as liquid chemical and rinsing liquid (pure water) but also a drying gas supply pipe 84 for the supply of drying gas such as nitrogen gas (N2) is connected to the liquid supply port 28.
As shown in
As shown in
Next, with reference mainly to
Further, liquid chemical supply pipes 73 a, 73 b, 73 c and 73 d communicating with liquid chemical tanks 74 a, 74 b, 74 c and 74 d respectively are connected to an intermediate portion of the main supply pipe 70 through change-over supply valves Va, Vb, Vc and Vd. Liquid chemicals of different kinds, e.g., ammonium hydroxide (NH4OH), hydrochloric acid (HCl), hydrofluoric acid (HF), are stored in the liquid chemical tanks 74 a, 74 b, 74 c and 74 d respectively. By opening any of the change-over supply valves Va, Vb, Vc and Vd according to the purpose of treatment, the liquid chemical stored in the selected tank is mixed with pure water flowing in the main supply pipe 70 and the resulting mixture can be supplied from the supply member 42 to the wafers W in the treating vessel 10. The supply pipe 70A branched from the main supply pipe 70 on the side of the supply member 42 is connected to the liquid supply port 28 through a change-over valve V0 (see
A discharge pipe 75 with an opening/closing valve V4 interposed therein is connected to a drain port 76 (
A drain pipe 78 with an opening/closing valve V5 interposed therein is connected to the drain port 17 of the vessel body 12 (see
An exhaust pipe 80 with an opening/closing valve V6 interposed therein is connected to the air vent 18 (see
A cool nitrogen gas (N2) supply pipe 81, a hot nitrogen gas (N2) supply pipe 82 and an isopropyl alcohol (IPA) supply pipe 83 are connected to the gas supply port 19 (see
The drain pipe 78A is connected to the quick drain port 17A (see
To the drain pipe 78B disposed separated from the drain pipe 78A, the main supply pipe 70 is connected through the supply pipe, or a return pipe 84 with a change-over valve VA interposed therein.
As shown in
It is also possible to attach an ultrasonic oscillator 100 to the outer periphery of the enclosure wall 12 a of the vessel body 12. According to this configuration, treatment can be done within the treating vessel 10 while applying ultrasonic oscillation to the treating liquid in the treating vessel by operation of the ultrasonic oscillator 100.
The following description is now provided about the operation of the liquid treating apparatus of this embodiment.
During supply of the liquid chemical mixture, the nozzle 43 of the supply member 42 shown in
The liquid chemical having been supplied into the treating vessel 10 and used for the treatment is drained from the drain port 17 through the drain pipe 78. During treatment with the liquid chemical, the position of the change-over valve V0 is switched to let the liquid chemical be supplied into the gap 22 formed between the driven shaft 21 of the holding device 30 and the enclosure member 23 of the treating vessel 10, so that it is possible to prevent stagnation of the liquid chemical within the gap 22.
After the liquid chemical treatment is performed for a predetermined time, the change-over supply valve Va, Vb, Vc, or Vd, is closed to stop the supply of the liquid chemical. Then, only pure water is supplied from the supply member 42 to the wafers W in the treating vessel 10 to perform rinsing. At this time, the opening/closing valve V2 is closed and the opening/closing valve V3 is opened to supply pure water whose temperature is not adjusted. Further during this rinsing treatment the wafers W are rotated by the rotational drive device 20, so that the pure water supplied from the rotating supply member 42 flows from around the wafers W toward the center and comes into uniform contact with the hole surface of each wafer W to effect rinsing. At this time pure water is supplied from the liquid supply port 28 into the gap 22, whereby stagnation of pure water in the gap 22 is prevented. Besides, pure water can be supplied also into the gap 15 of the receptacle portion 14 by rotation of the supply member 42, so that the liquid chemical does not remain in the receptacle portion 14 (see
After the rinsing treatment is performed in this way for a predetermined time, the opening/closing valve V3 is closed and the operation of the rotating device 50 is stopped to stop the supply of pure water. Thereafter, the opening/closing valves V8, V4 are opened to discharge the pure water present in the treating vessel 10 to the exterior from the quick drain port 17A through the drain pipe 78A. Simultaneously with this drainage of the pure water, drying gas, e.g., nitrogen gas (N2) or a gaseous mixture of N2 and IPA vapor, is supplied from the gas supply port 19 to the wafers W in the treating vessel 10 to dry the wafers W. At this time, the position of the change-over valve V0 is switched to supply the drying gas into the gap 22 from the liquid supply port 28, whereby the droplets remaining within the gap 22 are removed and drying is promoted.
As described above, after the drying treatment is performed for a predetermined time, the supply of the drying gas is stopped to finish the liquid treatment.
Next, with the attitude changing/moving mechanism 60, the lid 11 is pulled apart from the vessel body 12 and the wafers W held by the holding device 30 are taken out from the interior of the vessel body 12 and their attitude is changed from vertical to horizontal attitude. The wafers W whose attitude has thus been changed to horizontal attitude are received by the wafer holder 2 b different from the wafer holder used at the time of loading, then are accommodated into an empty carrier C and, if necessary, are conveyed to the next treating apparatus.
Next, a liquid treating apparatus according to a second embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to
In the second embodiment, elements for operating a moving mechanism 200 in a holding device 30A are incorporated in a driven shaft 21 b, thereby permitting the reduction in size of the liquid treating apparatus.
As shown in
More specifically, as shown in
As shown in
The rotary disc 201, guides 203, sliders 204, tension springs 207 and links 206 (
On the other hand, a floating electromagnet 24 and a positioning electromagnet 26, which are substantially the same as in the first embodiment, are embedded in the enclosure member 23. Moreover, a floating permanent magnet 25 a is embedded in the driven shaft 21 b at a position opposed to the electromagnet 24 and a positioning permanent magnet 25 b is embedded in the driven shaft 21 b at a position opposed to the electromagnet 26. In this way the rotational drive device 20 similar to that in the first embodiment is constructed.
Thus, as in the first embodiment, the driven shaft 21 b (double shaft 21A) can be rotated in a non-contact manner with a gap formed between it and the enclosure member 23 and therefore it is possible to suppress the generation of particles caused by rotation of the holding device 30.
Although in the above embodiments, it is described that plural wafers W are treated at a time, it goes without saying that the present invention is also applicable to a liquid treating apparatus which treats one wafer W at a time.
Although it is described that the holding devices 30 and 30A are each attached to the lid 11, no limitation is made thereto. For example, if there is adopted a structure wherein the delivery of wafers W to the liquid treating apparatus is done directly within the treating vessel 10, the holding devices 30 and 30A can each be mounted to the vessel body 12.
Moreover, the generally flat plate-like workpiece is not limited to the wafer, but may be, for example, a glass substrate for LCD or a disc substrate.
Further, although the construction is described which permits the supply of a maximum of four kinds of liquid chemicals, pure water and their mixtures as treating liquid to the wafers W and the gap 22 through the supply member 42 and the liquid supply port 28, no limitation is made thereto. The present invention is applicable also to the case where only one kind of treating liquid is supplied. The present invention is applicable more preferably to a construction which permits the supply of at least two kinds of treating liquids (first and second treating liquids).
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|JP2002016041A||Title not available|
|JP2002100605A||Title not available|
|JP2004507068A||Title not available|
|JPH09162152A||Title not available|
|JPH10135172A||Title not available|
|1||PCT International Preliminary Report on Patentability (Form PCT/IPEA/409) dated Apr. 2005.|
|2||PCT Notification of Transmittal of Translation of the International Preliminary Examination Report (Form PCT/IB/338) dated Jan. 2004.|
|U.S. Classification||134/95.1, 134/94.1, 134/200, 134/84|
|Feb 2, 2009||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TOKYO ELECTRON LIMITED, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KAMIKAWA, YUJI;REEL/FRAME:022215/0703
Effective date: 20070320